10 Years: Past and Future

As I deal with my midlife crisis at the age of 37, one of the things that I have been thinking about lately is how to fully appreciate the age that I am right now.  With age comes experience and wisdom and the last five years has provided me with more of both of those than my entire life combined!  So ten years ago, when I was only 27, what would I go back and tell myself, if I could?

Going back ten years is a difficult task.  Dale was still alive (and we were living in Virginia  child-free. We were actually in the process of selling our house and making arrangements to move to NYC ten years ago).  That alone brings up so many memories and complicated issues above and beyond just going back to enlighten a 27 year old.  As part of my healing process, when I looked back on my past I had to learn to do so without any regrets or what-ifs.  However, despite all of that, I am going to generate a list of 10 things that I would tell myself if I could go back ten years (in no particular order).

Things I would tell my 27 year old self…

  1.  Make friends:   Whether it’s 1, 5, or 10… make more friends.  You have no other family in VA other than Dale.  You need other people in your life.  Make connections. Go out.  Have fun!
  2. Don’t Give Up on Writing a Children’s Book:  You wrote several children’s books in the 4 years you lived in VA.  You sent one manuscript to a publisher and even got a handwritten letter back from the editor.  It was a rejection letter, but still handwritten.  You should have revised it and sent it out again.
  3. Trust Your Gut:  Deep down, you know that something is off.  Trust yourself.
  4. Stand up for Yourself and Be Confident:  You are intelligent, kind, respectful, and have the ability to stand up for yourself in a way that will make people listen.  Do it!
  5. Go to the Beach More:  You live so close!  Walk, run, read, listen to the sound of the waves, relax… enjoy the ocean!  You have no children!!!!  Appreciate the simple things in life.
  6. Don’t Worry So Much About Money:  Budget better and go on a vacation!  Don’t worry about visiting family.  Go somewhere memorable with Dale.
  7. Share Your Concerns:  Open up to a friend, your sister, your brother, a therapist… someone.  You can’t keep bottling everything up.  Things that are unsettling to you are starting to settle.  You are accepting them, yet building denial.  You have some heavy things going on and it is weighing you down and impairing your judgement.
  8. You are in fantastic shape!:  Be more comfortable in your skin.  Your abs rock!  Wear clothes to show off how fit you are.
  9. Leaving Virginia was the right choice.
  10. Dale needs help:  Don’t listen to him.  Don’t trust his words.  Don’t let him persuade you.  He needs help.


Things I (think I) would tell my 37 year old self, when I am 47…

  1.  37 is still so young!:  Although I am happy we already had our midlife crisis, why did  you have it at 37!?!??
  2. Enjoy every moment with Ewan:  He’s 16 now!  It’s a whole new world with a teenage.  I think me may have a girlfriend!?!?  Eeek!  And, he’s already a junior in high school.  He’s starting to look at colleges.  OMG!
  3. Don’t take your parents for granted.  Visit them as often as you can.  Invite them to visit you as often as they can.  Call them more!
  4. Lucky Lady:   John loves you whole-heartedly and unconditionally.  Don’t ever take that for granted.  Keep on going out and seeing and doing new and different things with him.  Travel the world as much as you can!
  5. Don’t be afraid to explore opportunities career-wise:  We both know that your career has dropped on the list of priorities.  Don’t be afraid to change things up if something interesting presents itself.  Stay away from sales, lol.
  6. Have Your Salad and Eat that Cake too!  Thank you for working hard to stay healthy and fit.  I know there were times, many times, when you could have done better, lol.  However, you found a decent balance and I thank you for that.  But… do those 10 minute abs more often.  It’s only 10 minutes… It would have benefitted us so much more!
  7. Buy those bikinis!:   I know you want to go a on a bikini splurge!  DO IT!  47 is pushing it for a bikini.  We can still rock it on the beach (for a 40-something), but not in an itty-bitty anymore.  😉
  8. Stand up for Yourself and Be Confident:  You are intelligent, kind, respectful, and have the ability to stand up for yourself in a way that will make people listen.  Do it!
  9. Work those Friendships:  You have some good people in your life.  Pick a couple and really foster that friendship.  You are so close to having some very close friendships.  Take the plunge!
  10. Should we have decided that we wanted a baby?  


Funny, when we look back to our past, we tell ourselves what we needed to hear at the time with our new eyes and wisdom.  When we go to the future, we tell ourselves what we think we want to hear.  I have some that a similar in both, but only 1 that I actually copied and pasted… Stand up for Yourself and Be Confident.  I have improved in doing this between 27-37, but not enough.

What would you go back and tell yourself and what would the future you tell your present self?  This was an interesting and enlightening thought process for me.  I hope that you will share some of yours as well.